Book review: Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters, by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Lena Roy

Voiklis, Charlotte Jones and Lena Roy. Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters. FSG, 2018. $19.99. 162p. ISBN 978-0-374-30764-6. Ages 8-11. P8Q8

Despite enduring financial insecurity and continuous rejections of her writing, Madeleine L’Engle overcame a lonely childhood, problems with friends, and family tensions to become an icon in the world of youth books. Her two granddaughters write about her persistent efforts to find careers in the theater and the world of writing, both of them leading to rejection before the book ends in 1961 when The Wrinkle in Time is finally accepted for publishing. The epilogue covers L’Engle’s life after that time from her granddaughters’ perspectives.

Verdict: This inspiring book is for both young writers and anyone who searches for a way out of the difficulties in growing up. The timely release of L’Engle’s biography fits with the recent movie of her most famous book. The charming, intimate narrative is greatly enhanced with new archival materials such as photographs, journals, poems, and letters that enhance the feeling for the author’s struggles and connections to her writing.

May 2018 review by Nel Ward.

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